In this article we would cover the financial aspect of applying for a Canadian temporary resident visa (TRV).
As we mentioned in our previous articles, there are three key factors considered by immigration officers when processing TRV applications:
First one is the reason for a visit. Every applicant must clearly demonstrate why he or she is applying for a temporary visa to Canada.
Second one is the financial aspect. No application will be approved if an applicant fails to prove that he or she has sufficient funds to cover all expenses incurred with the trip, including flights to and from Canada.
Third one is the motivation to return. Since the very purpose of a TRV is to allow a person to visit Canada temporarily, it implies that an applicant must leave Canada soon after arrival.
Now, what is expected from an applicant when he or she submits a TRV application in terms of allocated funds?
In brief, here are the points to keep in mind about financial aspect of a TRV application, if you are looking towards approval, not rejection:
- The funds must be sufficient for the proposed travel.
- The funds must be supported by documents included with the application.
- It must be clear who owns the funds.
- It must be clear where the funds are coming from.
- The funds must not be the very last stash saved for the rainy day.
How much money to show?
So here’s one of the most common questions: “How much money I must have in order for my TRV application to be approved?” This particular question is asked hundreds of times, being on the top of our Frequently Asked Questions rating.
The answer is simple: funds must be sufficient. What does it mean exactly? The applicant must afford the following to himself:
- Flight to Canada (which can be quite costly)
- Expenses incurred with stay in Canada – this includes things such as hotels, B&B’s, meals, transportation (rental car or public transit), travel insurance and other costs)
- Expenses incurred with purpose of visit to Canada, if such purpose, declared in the application, assumes expenses
- Flight from Canada – we’re mentioning it separately just because it is very important, since one-way ticket means immediate refusal in most cases
An immigration officer has virtually no chance of seeing an applicant or asking any questions. It is the pass-fail test: if an applicant satisfies the officer that he or she meets all requirements (including financial ones), the visa will likely be issued. And it’s the applicant’s responsibility to make all efforts to support his or her application.
Therefore, it is very important to provide documentary evidence for just everything. Never leave place for any guesswork or assumptions; if you can afford the proposed trip to Canada, it must be clear from the submitted documents.
As such, the documentary evidence of financial capacity of an applicant must not only be present in the application package, but also clearly answer the following questions:
- Who owns the funds? The document must include full name of the bank account holder, for example.
- How much funds are available? The answer implies that the document includes the amount, and of course, the currency (which is often overlooked).
- When the account snapshot was made? Make sure that the account statement or whatever document you provide includes recent date. Usually financial documents are accepted if they are not more than 3 months old on the day of submission.
- The document must be official, i.e. printed on the letterhead of a financial institution showing its name and contacts.
- Certified translation must accompany the document if is not in English or French.
Ownership of funds
There is no such thing as no one’s money. Naturally, when an applicant says that funds are available for travel, another question must be answered in full: whom the money belong to? Everything is plain and simple, if the bank account, deposit or investment is in the applicant’s name – nothing to explain, no additional documents to enclose.
However, this is not always the case. For example, when parents or relatives are sponsoring kid’s trip to Canada or an employer pays for employee’s business trip, or even when a Canadian invites his relative and agrees to pay all expenses from his own pocket, the situation is different. It may be required to enclose one more document clarifying how and why holder of funds is going to cover someone else’s expenses. Even if an applicant demonstrates funds deposited in the name of his wife, an explanation and/or a letter from wife may be required, since being married does not always mean sharing family funds and each other’s income.
Just remember: if trip expenses will be paid not by applicant, but by a third party, be it a spouse, a relative or any other person or organization, this requires clarification and submission of additional documents.
Also, funds must be coming from a legal source. It may be an applicant’s or spouse’s salary, long-term savings, investment interest, inheritance or whatever you can imagine – but 100% legal in any case.
It is advisable to include explanation about provenance of funds, if the source is not obvious, or if such explanation is required for other reason.
For example, if a high school graduate is applying for a study permit in Canada (which is also a form of a temporary resident visa), he or she should indicate in his application, who will be paying the costs –parents, grandparents, other relative, employer and so on – given that a recent graduate usually have no own source of income high enough to afford travel to Canada.
Rainy day stash?
The last but not least factor to be considered when gathering proof of funds documents is the simple consideration that an applicant is supposed to afford the trip, which means that all incurred expenses are to be paid without extreme straining of all financial resources available.
The logic behind all this is pretty simple: if an applicant is prepared to deplete all or almost all of his or her savings, it most likely means that the investment is worth it. In other words, in the eyes of an officer such an applicant is going to remain in Canada for good – almost 100% sure. Only in this case an individual can be desperate enough to put everything at risk by investing everything on hand – because he or she sees future opportunity to be repaid in Canada some day in the future.
Therefore the documents must clearly demonstrate that the funds available for the trip are not the very last financial resource at hand.
Here are a few examples of most common mistakes applicants make in their cases that often result in refusals:
- First, not all financial documents are accompanied by proper translations. Even if some text in the document is not in English or French, it is imperative that such document is translated. Anything that is not translated is considered void and is not taken into account even if an officer speaks the language.
- Incomplete documents often do not include some essential information, such as currency, name of financial institution, or date.
- If bank account statement shows lump recent sum deposits, this is also not good – to an officer it means that an applicant could have borrowed the funds trying to comply with the requirements.
- Similarly, round figures in bank accounts also raise immediate suspicion of an officer, since in real life most transactions, and especially account balances, are with decimals. You can hardly find an active account with perfectly round balance. Having the balance of $50,000.00 most often means that some cash has been borrowed and recently deposited – for the sole purpose of applying for a TRV.
Can someone represent me?
If you are looking for a professional assistance in immigration and visa application, the most obvious choice would be entrusting your case to a legal and licensed immigration practitioner. Always double-check if your representative is licensed in Canada to provide immigration and visa services before signing a contract and making any payments.
LP Toronto immigration and visa department team has own in-house licensed immigration practitioners who would gladly assist you. Please feel free contacting us upon your convenience. We work to help you.